Ragnarok ("Doom of the Gods"), also called Gotterdammerung, 'THE TWILIGHT OF THE GODS' The end of the world will be preceded by the axe-age and the sword-age. Weapons will be wielded and destroyed; following it is a wind-age and a wolf-age before the inevitable doom of Ragnarok. Winter will take its toll for three consecutive years without the summer interfering to bring its people mercy. Three other winters will make its presence known. Midgard will be at war during this time. Father and son will engage in battle against one another. Siblings will partake in incestuous acts. Mothers will abandon their husbands and seduce their own sons; while brothers rip at each other's hearts. The wolves Skoll and Hati Hrodvitnisson will swallow the sun and the moon, bringing total darkness into the world. The starry heavens will fall, the earth will tremble; mountains and trees will crumble to the ground. Monsters will break free from the fetters that bind them; and the wild hunt will begin. The Fenrir wolf will run loose dragging its jaws upon the earth and the heavens above. The Midgard serpent will revolt and cause the waters to overflow the shores. It will spew its deadly venom in the world around him. In the north the Naglfar ship will be set free from its chains steered by Hymr. A crew of giants will accompany him. Loki will escape his bonds and sail northbound on a ship bearing the sons of Hel. In the south, Surt, the keeper of Muspell, will ride across Bifrost until it crumbles beneath him. The horns of Heimdall will ring across the nine worlds warning the gods of the danger ahead. The Yggdrasil tree will tremble. A man and a woman will seek shelter under its quivering leaves, as the earth beneath them quakes at the sound of war. Soon after, Odin will ride away on his horse Sleipnir to consult the head of Mimir for advice on the course of action to be taken. The warriors in Valhalla will be sent to the plane of Vigrid with Odin as their leader. Odin will charge against the Fenrir wolf, but All-father will fall prey to the creature's deadly jaws and be swallowed. Odin's son Vidar will courageously avenge his father's death by stepping on Fenrir's jaw with his foot. (He wears a special shoe made of pieces of leather that have been offered to the gods). Vidar will snatch the upper jaw of the wolf and tear it asunder. Thor will battle against the Midgard serpent and succesfully slay it. He will take nine steps back and die from the poisonous fumes the serpent spews forth. The god Frey will fight against the guardian of Muspell. He will fall victim to the giant Surt since he has given away his sword to his messenger Skirnir. Tyr, the god of war, will attack the hound of Hel, Garm, while Loki and Heimdall engage in combat and die by each other's hand. The nine worlds under the Yggdrasil tree will become a blazing inferno. All the gods of the Aesir and Vanir will die, as well as the inhabitants of all the realms that lie beneath the great Ash tree. The sky will fall into a pit of flame and the earth will sink into the sea. A new beginning will come after the world's destruction. The earth will emerge out of the sea and flourish vigorously. The sons and daughters of the Aesir and Vanir will survive Ragnarok and meet in council on the plain of Ida, where Asgard used to be. Odin's sons, Vidar and Vali will meet there and the sons of Thor will join them and be heirs of their fathers hammer, Mjollnir. The beloved god Baldr and his brother Hod will return fron Hel and join the rest, while Hoenir will predict what is to become of the new world. Bor's sons, Vili and Ve, will be sent to the heavens to rule with the rest. The new ruling gods will congregate and recall past memories of Ragnarok. Treasures that once belonged to the Aesir will be found scattered on grassy plains and will be looked upon with great amazement. Gimle will once more house the gods in peace and bounty. Good and evil, however, will not cease to exist, for there will be a region in Hel called Nastrond, the shore of the dead. The dragon Nidhogg will survive the fiery doom and continue to gnaw on the bodies of the deceased. The man and woman who sought shelter under the branches of Yggdrasil will be called Lif and Lifthrasir. They will nourish themselves with dewdrops and give birth to many children to repopulate the earth. From the great Ash new rays of light will come from the skies above, for, a daughter was born by the sun before the wolf swallowed her in the dawn of Ragnarok. This is how it all has ended; and this is how the world begins.